Beacon Spiritual Theme of the Month
~ Beauty ~
Submissions must be in by Wednesday at 4:00 pm to be included in the newsletter. 
Heather Thornton, Beacon Office Manager

~ Sunday Service ~ 

31st Annual Homecoming Picnic: The Beauty of Community - Make plans to join with us this special morning for our 31st Annual Homecoming Picnic. This yearagain we will gather at the Community Ramada - Bushmaster Park just off E Lockett Rd at Thomas Street. Follow the signs and balloons!  We'll have service and fellowship at 10:00am followed directly by luncheon and conversation, games and play for the whole family. See you there!

~ From the President of the Board ~  

The recent Annual Beacon Board of Trustees' retreat, held Saturday August 26th, was a bonding experience for members of the Core Leadership Council and the Board.  Eighteen Beacon leaders participated in a "People Mapping" experience followed by a presentation on Right Relations and Thriving Congregations.  The morning session was capped off with a potluck lunch with a tour of the Beacon Website.  If you have not reviewed the website recently I invite you to take a look, the office has been busy rebuilding the site since our website crash and internet hack of last winter.  If you have any questions or comments on the website, please share with me or contact our office administrator, Heather.

In the afternoon, CLC members were welcome to stay while the Board established priorities and operating practices for the year.  Top priorities for the year are, finding ways to increase Beacon's appeal to younger adults and children, and following a process for determining Beacon's capacity for a capital campaign to see if we are ready to commit to expanding the building to create new opportunities for Beacon.  Plans were made for a Beacon Town Hall (Building Expansion conversation) on the 17
th of September and a Congregational meeting on the first of October.  Hope to see you all there.  Additionally, your board will be trialing a new opportunity for "speak with a board member on Sundays." We will have one board member on deck each week to speak with members, friends and visitors regarding what's on your mind.  This an effort for two-way communication and awareness what is happening at Beacon.

Lastly, I would like to personally invite and encourage all Beacon members and friends to join with us, your Board, Minster and Staff for our annual Homecoming Picnic this Sunday at Bushmaster Park.   Sunday September 10th, Service at  10:00, luncheon directly to follow, food fun and games for everyone.

In Community, 
~ Touchstones Journal ~

Click here to read the September Touchstone Journal

~ From the Ministers Desk ~  
Awakening & Surrendering to Beauty by John O'Donohue

"We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrender. ...They frame each day and each life; between them is the journey where anything can happen, the beauty and the frailty.

   ...The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere-in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion, and in ourselves. ...When we experience the Beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming ...for it meets the needs of our soul.
...In the experience of beauty we awaken and surrender in the same act. ...These times are riven with anxiety and uncertainty given the current global crisis. In the hearts of people, some natural ease has been broken. Our trust in the future has lost its innocence. ...At first, it sounds completely naive to suggest that now might be the time to invoke and awaken beauty. Why? Because there is nowhere else to turn and we are desperate; furthermore, it is because we have so disastrously neglected the Beautiful that we now find ourselves in such terrible crisis.

    ...Much of the stress and emptiness that haunt us can be traced back to our lack of attention to beauty. Internally the mind becomes coarse and dull if it remains unvisited by images and thoughts that hold the radiance of beauty.

    ...Beauty is another order, a deeper level. When we allow ourselves under the persuasion of beauty, our encounter gains integrity, and integrity is the heart of integration, which is the gift we most desperately need now."

Source: Beauty: The Invisible Embrace by John O'Donohue, 2004, HarperCollins paperback 2005
This has been another week of difficult to tragic news daily for many of us to hear and to comprehend. From Hurricane Harvey in South Texas, to the President's decision to abandon DACA and the many young people lives now cast into turmoil and uncertainty.  The wildfires raging across our national forests in Montana, Oregon, California and others - it is a time of cataclysmic uncertainty.  We need community, and caring now more than ever.  I hope you will make plans to join with us in community, to be a part of and to be healed by the beauty of community this Sunday at the Picnic.  The beauty of community where sorrows shared are softened, where joys shared are amplified.  It is good we will gather for community, fellowship and fun.  See you there.
Grateful to be on the journey with you,
Rev. Kevin
~ Music Box ~
Making Beautiful Music from Garbage by Rev. Kirk Loadman-Copeland
     In 2006, Favio Chávez, an environmental engineer, was working on a recycling program in Cateura, a slum a few miles south of the city of Asunción, the capital of Paraguay. Cateura is home to the country's main landfill. About 3 million pounds of garbage are dumped there daily. The people living there scavenge for things in the garbage piles and sell them.

     As a child, Señor Chávez learned to play the clarinet and guitar. He became the choir director at his church when he was 11. Señor Chávez began giving children in Cateura music lessons, but he had many more students than instruments. A violin cost more than a house in Cateura. He discussed the problem with Nicolás "Colá" Gómez, who is known as Don Colá. He was a ganchero (a person who recycles garbage) and a former carpenter. The only source of materials was the garbage dump. Armed with creativity, Don Colá began making musical instruments out of what he found in the dump: old forks, knives, and spoons, oven trays, bottle caps, large cans, x-ray film and more. He made a cello using an oil barrel and tuning knobs from a hairbrush, a wooden spoon, and the heel of a shoe.

     With children and teenagers eager to find beauty by making music and these amazing instruments, the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura was born. In 2011, Señor Chávez quit his job to devote all of his energy to the orchestra. The story of the orchestra is told in the documentary film, Landfill Harmonic. In 2015 it was featured at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

     The documentary features Chávez and Gómez along with amazing teens including Juan Manuel Chavea, nicknamed Bebi, who plays the cello, and Ada Maribel Ríos Bogado, who plays the violin. Ada is also featured in the children's book Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay written by Susan Hood and illustrated by Sally Wern Comport. Hood writes, "With her violin, Ada could close her eyes and imagine a different life. She could soar on the high, bright, bittersweet notes to a place far away. She could be who she was meant to be."

    It's hard to imagine children surrounded by garbage, living in the midst of it, with contaminated water and the odor of landfill, with such poverty. And then, for them to create such beauty.

     The Recycled Orchestra has performed for politicians, monarchs, and Pope Francis. The orchestra has played Mozart, Paraguayan folk music, and more. They have backed up artists like Stevie Wonder, Metallica, and Megadeth. They are also featured, appropriately, in violinist Lindsey Stirling's music video Transcendence (Orchestral).
    In one video Ada says, "When I listen to the sound of a violin, I feel butterflies in my stomach." Tania Vera adds, "My life would be worthless without music." As Señor Chávez put it, "no tener nada no es excusa para no hacer nada": "having nothing is no excuse to do nothing."
~ Religious Exploration ~  
Information sheet
Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Religious Exploration 2017-2018
DRE Amy Huntereece:
office phone 928-779-4492
office hours Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM, Sunday 8:30 AM-12:30 AM
Church address 510 N. Leroux, Flagstaff
Religious Exploration Classes
PreK-Grade 2:
Sunday morning 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
  • Curriculum: Moral Tales
Grades 3 & 4:
Sunday morning 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
  • Curriculum: Lessons related to Unitarian Universalist Principles and how they coordinate with social justice and compassion in human relations. This group will take ownership of a few projects this Fall, including, UN Sunday, Guest At Your Table, and Chalice Kids.
Grades 5-8:
Wednesday afternoons 3:00 PM-5:30 PM
  • Curriculum: Perspiration & Inspiration. We will meet at the East Side Library and engage in some physical activity outside (ie: hike, basketball, skate park, within walking distance of the library) then return to the library for inspiring conversation related to UU Principle #7, Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
Sunday morning 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
  • Curriculum: Music & UU, Youth Lounge. We will meet in the DRE office and talk about popular music, share playlists, and hang out together.
High School:
Wednesday evenings 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Curriculum: TBD by the group
Religious Exploration Additional offerings
  • Grades 5 & 6:
  • Our Whole Lives (OWL) classes 9/10-10/29
  • Grades 7 & 8:
  • Our Whole Lives (OWL) classes 9/16-11/18
  • Looking forward to...
  • Grade 8:
  • Coming of Age curriculum this Spring
  • All middle school kids:
  • Participation in MUUGS retreats throughout the year statewide.
  • Family campout
  • Winter holiday presentation
  • Chalice Camp
~ Social Justice Allies ~
SJA September Meeting Date Change
The September meeting date for SJA has been changed to September 24, due to an important Building Expansion Town Hall on our original date. Still on Sunday, following the service (about 11:30), as always.

* * * * *
Justice Strength Training
Session 1: Intersectionality & UU Action
Sun., Sept. 10, 2017, 4 - 5:00 pm
Join this 1-hour webinar to strengthen your justice muscles -- the first in a 12-part series brought to you by UUJAZ. 

What does "intersectionality" really mean? How does the term apply to organizing for social change? What does it have to do with UUs in Arizona?

This webinar will feature a brief (pre-recorded) video presentation on intersectional organizing from Caitlin Breedlove, exploration in small groups about what intersectionality has to do with you, and an overview of what UUJAZ has to offer over the next year.
Register on the UUJAZ website to receive the call-in link for this webinar:, then Events
Event Location
Online Zoom Call (an online connection in which you can participate from home!)

Justice Strength Training 2 will follow on September 24.

* * * * *

UUJAZ (UU Justice AZ) Issue and Action Day
Saturday, October 14, 9:00 - 4:30
UU Church of Surprise
Early registration open now until September 22!
Let's carpool! Click here for more info!

* * * * * *

Out of the Darkness Community Walk

Saturday morning, September 30th at Buffalo Park.
Sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (rated 90% by Charity Navigator) Flagstaff's 2-mile walk begins at 10:00, with registration 9 - 10:00 that day or online (online registration closes at noon Friday, September 9).
In alignment with Beacon's September theme of Beauty, this is one way to connect with the inner beauty of others, especially those suffering from depression and/or taking their own lives. We can be allies, either by sharing that September 30 walk side by side, or on the same path, or by making a financial contribution.
For more information, go to:
OR: google Out of the Darkness Walk, then scroll down to find the Flagstaff Walk.

One of Beacon's public stances, approved in 2016, is to "support local efforts toward non-violence." Many of us have been touched in some way by the factors that contribute to this awful outcome that impacts entire communities.

Questions about any of these events? Contact me at 380-6502 or
Roz Clark, SJA Journalist
PS From Sept. 13 - 20 we'll be out-of-state; phone probably best during that week.
~ In Community ~
Amy Huntereece shared joy at winning 1st place at the county fair for her cheery pie, and gave a reminder that her pies will be offered as an auction item.

Chuck and Anne Tatum shared joy at youngest daughter's upcoming wedding.

lore dickey shared sorrow for 36th anniversary of father's passing, and joy at 18th anniversary of beginning transition.

Anne Wittke shared concern for son's injured back.

Cassie Dakan shared concern for the people Houston.
Beacon Calendar
Choir Rehearsal
Thursday, September 7
7:00 pm
Owl Parent Meeting
Tuesday, September 13
5:00 pm
Sunday Service & Religious 
Sunday, September 10
10:00 am
Choir Rehearsal
Thursday, September 14
7:00 pm

Tuesday, September 12
11:00 am, 5:00 pm
OWL Event
8:30 am
Saturday, September 16
Tuesday,  September 12
6:15 pm
Sunday Service & Religious  
Sunday, September 17
10:00 am

If you would like to submit a calendar event, send an email to . With all requests, please indicate the following: proposed start and end time of the event, the space/room preferred, and a rough group size. On the occasion of a cancellation or rescheduling of an event, please let the office know in a timely fashion to ensure that your event is correctly represented in the newsletter and order of service. Thank you!
~ Save the Date ~

Sunday, September 10
10:00 am
Homecoming picnic
Bushmaster Park

Saturday, September 30
10:00 am
UUJAZ Lunch info and Fundraising at Beacon

Saturday October 14, 2017
UUJAZ - Issue and Action Day

Saturday, Oct 21, 2017
9:00 am
Building and Grounds workday Breakfast treats provided!
~ Classifieds ~

Sunday cash counters needed! You've been looking for how you can help out at Beacon, here's your chance!  We're seeking to build a pool of cash count volunteers to work in teams of two, for one half hour after service to count the offering and prepare cash count sheet.  Please contact the office with your interest. Thank you to those who have expressed interest, we need three or four more people to schedule a training, and are looking forward to implementing this program in the coming weeks!

Requesting photos with permission to use them on the Beacon website! Photos can be of congregational events (please make sure everyone in the photo is named so that I can obtain a release to use them!), the church itself, the grounds, or even just of around town! Help us show the public the beautiful community that is Beacon UU!

Beacon Library!
Our Beacon Library is in need of some friends, might you have time to help organize, and to create and review checkout and return of our honor system loaner library?  The library is currently being reset in the upstairs library / DRE office room, so a great time to help with organizing.  Please be in touch with Rev. Kevin.
Beacon Office Hours

Rev. Kevin  Lawson: 

Tues: 11:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Weds: 11:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Other times available by appointment
Director of Religious Exploration, 
Amy Hunterreece

Please call the office during regular office hours for DRE needs at this time. 

  Office Manager, 
Heather Thornton

Tues: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Weds: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Thur: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

~ Art at Beacon ~


For September and October, works by Beacon member Carleton Sheppard will be on view in the sanctuary. They are called "bricolages," a French word for the creation of a work from a diverse range of things that happen to be at hand. "Collages" are two-dimensional works of art made by combining various papers and other flat surfaces; "bricolages" are three-dimensional, made by combining objects.. 

When she moved to Flagstaff in 1998, she began practicing the Japanese art of 
wabi-sabi before she learned what it is: the aesthetic of impermanence and imperfection. She was fascinated by the natural forms and rusty objects she found in the Ponderosa forest, and began assembling them into wall arrangements.  According to Wikipedia, characteristics of 
wabi-sabi include "asymmetry, roughness, simplicity, economy, austerity... and appreciation of the ingenuous integrity of natural objects and processes."
~ SIGN UP Time for Circle Suppers at Beacon ~
Break bread with a few other Beaconites

How it works:
  • Any Member or Friend of Beacon signs up (with your partner and family, if you wish) by September 12. You are signing up to participate in 3-5 potluck Suppers (or brunches or whatever) during September-January. Each Supper is held in the home of one member of the Circle; nobody hosts more than 1 Supper.
  • Paul Beier assembles participants into "Circles" of ~6-8 adults (plus kids in kid-tolerant groups), notifies you of the Circle to which you have been assigned, and assigns one person to be the Ringleader of each Circle.
  • The Ringleader of each Circle works with Circle to set the date for the first Supper at the Ringleader's home. At each Supper, the Circle selects a date & host for the next Supper. Continue until everyone has had hosted.
  • Is your home too small to host? No problem! We can work it out...
"A Beacon tradition for 30 years"
What to do:
Before  September 12, email, with your
  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone (gotta have it! I promise not to share it beyond your Circle)
  • Names of other adults who will attend Suppers with you
  • Names and ages of kids who will attend suppers with you
  • Are you willing to have babies (kids <36 months) old in your Circle? Yes/No
  • Are you willing to have kids > 3 years old in your Circle? Yes/No
  • Any other information, such as: "only Sunday brunches" or "house too small for me to host" or "please put in circle with Barack."
If you can't remember if you already signed up for Circle Suppers, just sign up again - I will find the duplicates.

~ A new way to deepen your Beacon experience. ~

Chalice Circles are an Adult RE component of the Touchstone program of themed ministry that Beacon is initiating in September. Each Circle will consist of 8 participants an a facilitator, meeting once a month for approximately 90 minutes, 4th Sunday at 11:30 am and 4th Tuesday at 7:00 pm. Topics will follow the monthly Touchstone theme. 

Chalice Circles are not study groups, or support groups. They are designed to foster introspection and deep listening as participants respond to topic questions from their personal perspective and life experience. Chalice Circles provide;
  • A way to foster friendships and caring connections
  • An avenue for personal growth and spiritual exploration
  • An opportunity to strengthen the fabric of our church community. 
As your Chalice Circle facilitator, Char Tarashanti is committed to creating a safe and welcoming space for all participants and guiding the process with the framework of the Chalice Circle format. Char had 5 years of Chalice Circle experience  in her previous congregation in MN. 

Sign up sheets will be available in the lobby on Sundays and in the office during the week. Char will be happy to answer any questions in person or by phone. 
Call (507) 990-3888 or email
~ Website Members and Friends Access ~

Interested in accessing the directory and board documents on the Members and Friends page on ? You can get the password over the phone (928-779-4492) during regular office hours, or by requesting it from a board member after Sunday Services.We will not be providing it by email. 
Call or email Heather ( with any questions!

If you are not on Beacon's exclusive google group, you are missing out on an important communications link within our congregation. It is useful for spreading information about something going on in Flagstaff, informing others of social action activities, offering an item for sale or to give away, sharing enthusiasm about a book or movie, requesting information or recommendations -- and more! It's simple to sign up! Email Heather, our Office Manager, at
~ Fundraising the Easy Way! ~

We have added new, easy ways to give back to Beacon! 

Do you shop at Fry's? Use the Beacon phone number, (928) 779-4492, at checkout, and Beacon receives donations from Fry's through their Community Rewards program!

Do you shop online? Use and Beacon receives donations from the companies you shop with! 
Or, use! Just set Beacon as your charity of choice, and when you use the portal to shop, Beacon receives donations from!

Do you know of other passive fundraising methods? Let us know at!